Standing Up for You and Your Rights
I work with ordinary individuals and families - veterans, teachers, nurses, police, firefighters, and others who work each day making our community better - crafting solutions to such problems through advocacy and comprehensive planning since 2012.
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I am a proud product of the Grand Rapids Public Schools (specifically the late, great Creston High School). I graduated from the University of Michigan as a first-generation college student.
I am married to an educator, who employs his services as a chaperon for various high school functions. I am also a father to two daughters. Together, we enjoy living in the city of Grand Rapids.
I became a lawyer because it, as a profession, is among the last bastions of independent thought, that requires knowledge about all aspects of society, and that ultimately pursues truth. I am fortunate to say that through my work, on any given day, I work with people from all walks of life: plumbers, business owners, teachers, preachers, stay-at-home moms, people with mental illness, those accused of criminal activity, and grieving families.
Along my journey to this point, I graduated from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, with a focus on law affecting individuals and families. While practicing, I've honed my skills through the Hillman Advocacy Program conducted in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, the State Appellate Defender's Office, and Michigan's Institute for Continuing Legal Education.
The law, for me, is an advocation. And so for me, I never really stop practicing law. But when I'm not in the office or courtroom, I invest my skills and talents into our community. I serve on the advisory board for the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, and am a long-term board member of Well House. Additionally, I help teach legal topics to and mentor 9th grade students at Grand Rapids' University Prep High School through the Grand Rapids Bar Association's 3R's – Rights, Responsibilities, and Realities – Program. I am also an attorney representative for Kent County’s Veterans Treatment Court, assisting in the treatment instead of punishment of post-conviction veterans, and am a founder of the non-profit Friends of the Kent County Veterans Treatment Court - established to help financially support participant's rehabilitation.
I am a Grand Rapids Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” honoree, and have received numerous community awards for service.
Service is What I Do
You may be a veteran if you recognized this bio's headings as the U.S. Army leadership model. I served on active duty for five years in the Military Police Corps between my undergraduate and law school education. Duty placed me in Baumholder, Germany and Fort Knox, Kentucky, with deployments to Iraq from 2003-2004 and Afghanistan from 2005-2006. My military honors include the Valorous Unit Award as part of the 527th Military Police Company for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy, and the Griffin Award as part of the 92nd Military Police Company for being the best MP unit in the US Army – Europe command. I was awarded the Combat Action Badge, and am a four-time recipient of the Army Commendation Medal. But the best award was that I got to do what few people can truly say: spend time in the company of heroes.